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Latest Martian soil Stories

2008-12-18 13:00:00

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Researchers using a powerful instrument aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have found a long sought-after mineral on the Martian surface and, with it, unexpected clues to the Red Planet's watery past. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Surveying intact bedrock layers with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, or CRISM, scientists found carbonate minerals, indicating that Mars had...

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2008-12-18 14:45:00

Researchers using a powerful instrument aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have found a long sought-after mineral on the Martian surface and, with it, unexpected clues to the Red Planet's watery past. Surveying intact bedrock layers with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, or CRISM, scientists found carbonate minerals, indicating that Mars had neutral to alkaline water when the minerals formed at these locations more than 3.6 billion years ago. Carbonates, which...

2008-12-16 14:43:39

The U.S. space agency says martian soil its Phoenix Mars Lander collected this year is very cold and dry, but during climate cycles it might become moist. Phoenix found clues increasing scientists' confidence in predictive models about water vapor moving through the soil between the atmosphere and subsurface water-ice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said, noting the models predict the vapor flow can wet the soil when the tilt of Mars' axis, the obliquity, is greater than it...

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2008-12-15 16:36:00

During warmer climate, surface frost could have melted and moistened Martian soil. The Martian arctic soil that the Phoenix Mars Lander dug into this year is very cold and very dry. However, when long-term climate cycles make the site warmer, the soil may get moist enough to modify the chemistry, producing effects that persist through the colder times. Phoenix found clues increasing scientists' confidence in predictive models about water vapor moving through the soil between the atmosphere...

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2008-10-28 18:05:00

PASADENA, Calif. -- In a race against time and the elements, engineers with NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission hope to extend the lander's survival by gradually shutting down some of its instruments and heaters, starting today. Originally scheduled to last 90 days, Phoenix has completed a fifth month of exploration in the Martian arctic. As expected, with the Martian northern hemisphere shifting from summer to fall, the lander is generating less power due to shorter days and fewer hours of...

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2008-10-22 15:30:00

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has finished scooping soil samples to deliver to its onboard laboratories, and is now preparing to analyze samples already obtained. Scientists are anxious to analyze the samples as the power Phoenix generates continues to drop. The amount of sunlight is waning on Mars' northern plains as late-summer turns to fall. The spacecraft's robotic arm is digging into the lower portion of the "Upper Cupboard" and "Stone Soup" areas of the Phoenix worksite. Its Surface...

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2008-10-09 07:35:00

As fall approaches Mars' northern plains, NASA's Phoenix Lander is busy digging into the Red Planet's soil and scooping it into its onboard science laboratories for analysis. Over the past two weeks, Phoenix's nearly 2.4-meter-long (8 feet) arm moved a rock, nicknamed "Headless," about 0.4 meters (16 inches), and snapped an image of the rock with its camera. Then, the robotic arm scraped the soil underneath the rock and delivered a few teaspoonfuls of soil onto the lander's optical and...

2008-09-30 09:00:11

By MARC KAUFMAN By Marc Kaufman The Washington Post WASHINGTON Icy snow falls from high in the Martian atmosphere and may even reach the planet's surface, scientists working with NASA's Phoenix Mars lander reported Monday. Laser instruments aboard the lander detected the snow in clouds about 2 1/2 miles above the surface and followed the precipitation as it fell more than a mile toward the ground. But because of limitations with the technology, it was unclear whether any of the...

2008-09-10 18:00:25

The next soil sample the U.S. space agency's Phoenix Mars Lander obtains will go to the fourth of its four wet chemistry laboratory cells. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the source for that sample will be the "Snow White" trench on the eastern end of the area reachable with Phoenix's robotic arm. In July that trench yielded a sample that was found to contain water ice. The wet chemistry laboratory mixes Martian soil with purified water from Earth as part of the...

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2008-09-10 07:55:00

The next soil sample that NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander will deliver to its deck instruments will go to the fourth of the four cells of Phoenix's wet chemistry laboratory, according to the Phoenix team's current plans. The chosen source for that sample is from the "Snow White" trench on the eastern end of the work area reachable with Phoenix's robotic arm. In July that trench yielded a sample in which another analytical instrument, the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (or TEGA), confirmed the...


Word of the Day
cruet
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.
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